- Right click Windows Update service and choose Stop. Set Startup Type to disabled.
- That stopped the restart countdown timer (where you can choose to postpone 10 minutes to 4 hours). I need this server up all day and I could not sit and keep clicking postpone.
- Just stopping the service is not enough. It will automatically restart itself (it use delay startup). So you need to set the Startup Type to disabled.
- This should get us through the working day without an extremely important server rebooting.
Microsoft had released an out of band update and the server kept erroring over night trying to install it. I stopped Windows Update Service, deleted the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder's contents, and then restarted Windows Update Service.
Apparently that took care of it because after a bit I received notification that the update was applied and the computer needed to restart.
This was not supposed to happen based on GPO settings but after review I saw that the time for installing the update was wrong (11AM instead of 11PM).
To finish this I need to get back on the server this evening after work hours, and set the Windows Update service back to Automatic-Delayed and then Start the service. That should restore the status of Update services and I can then safely reboot the server.
Another tip: I have read only another solution to this was to run the command 'shutdown /a'. This was supposed to clear the pending reboot. It did not. The command returned the message that no reboots were pending.
If you run into this situation you may want to try what I posted above, just remember to re-enable the Windows Update service and remove the Disabled startup type. This will allow your system to resume normal updating.